April 26, 2012

McClanahan inks six more to bring signing class to even dozen

By HEATHER KENNEDY
UNCBears.com

GREELEY – Northern Colorado swimming and diving head coach Kelly McClanahan announced the addition of six to National Letters of Intent during the spring signing period, bringing her incoming freshman class to 12 after signing six in November.

“Every year our spring signing comes through for us in a big way,” said McClanahan. “We landed six big contributors, adding to the six from the fall, giving us a stellar freshmen class of 12 top notch student-athletes.  The fall and spring commitments put us in a good position for the next year’s recruiting class.  Our program will excel based on the talent we continue to bring in and coach and these girls fit that mold.”

Elléanar (Ellé) Gawronska joins the Bears from The Woodlands High School in Texas where she was team captain her senior year and earned four letters for the Highlanders. Gawronska specializes in the backstroke, swimming her fastest times of 58.50 in the 100 and 2:05.19 in the 200. In addition to swimming, she is also a two-year member of the Science National Honor Society.

“Ellé is coming to us from Texas,” said McClanahan. “I can’t wait to get her here, as she is going to make a big impact on the program.  She is an incredibly hard worker and expects the best from herself.  She has dropped enormous amounts of time in her events, and this puts her in an immediate contributor position for the team.  She will join (junior-to-be) Courtney Van Oost in the backstroke events, and may see some action in the 500 freestyle from time to time.  I expect great things from her in her four years here.”

Anastasia Malmos is a distance freestyler from Ewa Beach, Hawai’i. Malmos earned four varsity letters in swimming and one in water polo for the Sabers. She was a three-year captain in the pool and was named the most outstanding swimmer on the team as both a junior and senior. She was also a two-year member of the honor roll and a two-year honoree on the principal’s list. Her fastest time in the 200 free is 1:59.22, while she swam a 5:18.43 in the 500 free during her senior campaign.

“Anastasia will be joining us from the popular swimming state of Hawai’i,” McClanahan stated. “She is a very enthusiastic, hard working swimmer, and has improved a lot during her senior year.  She will be contributing to the distance events, training with veterans Alicen Fair and Tatum Boehnke.  I can see Anastasia excelling very quickly here with the program.”

Lia Miller is a diver from Coronado High School in Colorado Springs. In addition to her four letters in diving, she also earned one letter in track & field, competing in the pole vault and lettered in academics the last three years.

“Lia will be one of the five divers we will have on the roster next year,” McClanahan said. “I am thrilled to have our diving program expand to five members.  She has the skills needed to build a competitive one-meter, three-meter and Platform list.  I expect Lia will do very well with our program.”

Kylie Rathbone is a transfer from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where she is a member of one of the school record-holding relay teams. She also holds the Lakewood High School records in the 100 breaststroke as well as both the 50 and 100 freestyle, graduating from the Tigers in 2010. She was an all-state honorable mention as a senior as well as team captain.

“I am excited to get Kylie back to her home state and represent the Bears for her final two years of swimming, as well as reunite and train with former club teammate, Kaitlin Sorensen,” commented McClanahan. “I can’t wait to see the impact she has on the sprint and breaststroke events, as well as relays.  Kylie is a very talented swimmer, and I know we will maximize her potential very quickly.  She is going to bring lots of points to the team, and big things will happen for her in the years to come.”

Kellye Rather is a high school teammate of Miller, competing on the boards for the Cougars. In addition to diving, Rather also earned four letters in cheerleading and one in track & field. She was named the diving MVP all four years of high school as well as a team captain as a senior. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and in her senior campaign served as Secretary of Social of the Student Cabinet.

“Kellye will add to the growing diving program with her already thorough one-meter list,” McClanahan said. “Training with her high school teammate, Lia, and veteran Colorado Springs native, Sara Moldenhauer, is going to enable Kellye to make a big impact on the program.”

Haley Schneider earned two letters in diving and three in softball for the Longmont High School Trojans. She was named the Northern Conference Athlete of the Year, as well as the Longmont Times-Call Athlete of the Year at the conclusion of her senior year. She was also a two-time Academic All-State First Team selection, named to the honor roll every semester and a member of the National Honor Society. Her older brother, Brooks, is a junior on the baseball team.

“A native Coloradan, Haley is very familiar with the Bear family,” said McClanahan. “I am very excited to get Haley here and expand on the challenging one-meter and three-meter lists she already has, as well as getting her on the platform.  Haley comes from a very athletic background, so I know she will excel as a Bear Diver. She will walk in the door and have an immediate impact on our program.”

The half dozen join the fall signees of Erica Etz (Corona, Calif.), Jenny LaPorte (Phoenix, Ariz.), Sarah Miller (Las Vegas, Nev.), Lexi Peterson (Goodyear, Ariz.), Kelsey Smith (Temecula, Calif.) and Kati Velazquez (Las Vegas).